Start: N68 54.372 E27 00.437 (Finland)
Finish: N70 59.839 E25 57.652 (Hennigsvåg, Norway)
Distance: 354 km
I left not so early on Wednesday from my overnight spot in Finland. I had a long sleep and as I woke up it was already 09:00 AM!
The wind was still from ahead but the partly sunny skies of Tuesday gave way to low grey clouds.
The dense forests disappeared and after I crossed the border bridge between Finland and Norway it was mainly empty stony hills rolling into the distance. Fishing villages with bright red wooden houses dotted the shoreline. For the first time in many weeks I could see mountains again. Patches of snow were still lying on the mountain sides.
After a close near-hit with a reindeer bull on Tuesday when, for the first time, I locked the rear wheel of the KLR, I kept the speed down to 80 km/h. Again reindeer came out of the bush next to the road, running indecisively all across the road. In the strong wind with the heavy panniers the bike was riding like a plane encountering turbulence.
For most part of the day I rode with the Barents Sea on my right. The color of the water was dark-grey, reflecting the overcast heaven. The temperature stayed at 8 degrees, which was fine.
A Canadian biker couple that I met across Africa a few years ago warned me against reindeer in the tunnels. On entering the first tunnel I understood. The tunnel lighting was very bad and I had to ride 50 km/h just to make out where the middle line was. A reindeer would have been invisible in that tunnel.
I am staying two nights in the youth hostel of Hennigsvåg, a fishing community of about 3 300 souls. Tourism is thriving as the world-famous Nordkapp is only 45 km from here. The word known Queen Elizabeth ship will dock here for a few hours today, spewing out the rich tourists who will be bus-transported to Nordkapp and then back into the lap of luxury.
As I stopped at the youth hostel yesterday a biker couple stood at their BMW next to me. Peter und Renate Tewes celebrated their silver jubilee by riding their bike from Siegen in Germany to Nordkapp! Well done to them!
To get to Hennigsvåg one has to use a tunnel going for 7 km under the sea. To finance the tunnel all motorists had to pay a toll fee. As I got to the toll booth it was deserted. In town one explained it to me: The toll fees of the previous years had paid the full cost of the tunnel, and from the 1st July of this year the government stopped the toll fees.
It is only in Norway where something like this will happen.
Now I am off to Nordkapp!